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User Name Thread Name Subject Posted
Mick Pearce (MCP) Lyr Req: Young Engineer (Graeme Miles) (10) RE: Lyr Req: Young Engineer (Graeme Miles) 08 Aug 20


He didn't talk too long, so I've included it anyway.

Mick


THE YOUNG ENGINEER
(Graeme Miles, ...)

Graeme (spoken): "The Young Engineer was originally written in 1963 or 64, just after the completion of the Forth Road Bridge. It's the song that tells of a young lad who, having fininshed his apprenticeship, goes up to Scotland to work on the new bridge. Before the days of the oil rigs this was, young lads tended to go where the money was. And on this particular occasion it happened to be in bridge building. There was quite a lot of it going on in those days - across the Severn; they started the Humber Bridge I believe; and the Tay Bridge - a lot of bridges. The young engineer:"

Oh, where is that young lad, the young engineer,
Not a-seen him in these parts for nigh on a year.
Why, if you mean Johnny, you'll find him up North,
At work on the new bridge that spans over The Forth.

His apprenticeship's over, now he's skilled at his trade;
Young John is a man now and a man's wage he's paid.
Now he's gone up to Scotland, where he's proven his worth
As he works on the new bridge that spans over The Forth.

He bade farewell to the factory where he served his time
To work greasy cables and girders to climb,
To tread narrow catwalks high over the earth,
As he works on the new bridge that spans over The Forth

Young Nancy's been grieving since Johnny's been gone.
Though her letters are frequent and loving and long,
She yearns to be with him, up there in the North,
Where he works on the new bridge that spans over The Forth

But they're coming together now as each day goes past,
Soon the young engineer will be working his last,
As the men to the South and the men to the North
Meet and complete the bridge over The Forth.

His job will be done then and his tools he'll lay down,
And the young engineer will be homeward bound.
And as he returns he'll glance back to the North
And give a last wave to the bridge over The Forth.



Graeme (spoken): "The Young Engineer. That's the second version - I think there's about six versions of it actually. The music to that, by the way, is a joint composition - meself and Albert Elliott. My original tune was in the minor <hums a few bars>, but Albert thought it would sound better in the major, so since then I've stuck to that particular tune. It's another one of those songs that Steve Wilson's wife Bridget has brought back to life. She does a remarkable job on it, as usual. And I believe Ray Fisher used to sing it years ago, if not this particular version, certainly another one."


Source: Graeme Miles: Industrial Songs Of Teesside And The Clevelands - Reference Tape No.2


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